Two Planned Parenthood affiliates, whose operations separately served the state of Michigan, have merged into one entity known as Planned Parenthood of Michigan (PPMI).
The reproductive health care and sexuality education service providers, Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan (PPMSM) and Planned Parenthood West and Northern Michigan (PPWNM), officially completed the merger on May 1.
This move comes partially in response to the 2015 retirement of longtime PPWNM CEO Katherine Humphrey, as former PPMSM President and CEO Lori Carpentier moves into place as leader of the new, merged organization. By reducing some of the executive roles, such as CEO, to only one position, PPMI will have access to more resources, Carpentier said.
“It will allow us to put more of our resources into patient care more directly,” she said. “Both affiliates have sort of grounded ourselves in various localities to be good community partners. So really combining that gives us a strength that we didn't have separately.”
The new $20 million organization operates 20 health centers across Michigan, with headquarters in Ann Arbor and all administrative offices remaining in place.
Carpentier said that the merger should also allow her organization to better navigate the “seismic changes” of health care and the “accelerated attacks” against Planned Parenthood.
“We are dealing with the significant transformation in health care and how it's delivered and how we get paid for it,” she said. “Having deeper bandwidth is always helpful in those times. So we're trying to meet the complicated nature of our business right now.”
With that bandwidth, the organization hopes for decreased overhead, as well as an increased opportunity to attract and retain top talent.
The largest challenge, and perhaps the most important, of a merger like this is ensuring that “you do it in such a way that honors the history of both organizations,” Carpentier said.
“It’s making sure that you’re making solid decisions that will enable both services that people have come to depend on to go forward in the way people expected. And I think we’ve done that pretty well.”
Due to the nature of the merger, especially being between two nonprofit affiliates, no money was exchanged in this largely structural transition, according to Carpentier.